“Take my hand / Keep it down low / As we strut down this Hollywood road / Legends rise / Just after they fall / As we rock out this Hollywood road” sings a powerful Rob Alexander in the chorus of his new single “This Hollywood Road,” his words aching with much of the same emotionality we can feel in the grooves beneath them. We knew long before Being Myself that Alexander has a way with words, but here, he’s making it all the more difficult to ignore his natural talents – and more specifically, the poeticisms they can produce.
The lead vocal in “This Hollywood Road” is essentially what pulls together all of the other melodic elements in the track together, but I think it’s important to note that it doesn’t feel even slightly overproduced. One of the biggest issues I’ve been running into with a lot of similarly-stylized indie pop this summer has been related to the preservation of an organically charming voice in the midst of a powerhouse harmony, but in this most recent effort from Rob Alexander, he appears to have this exact problem taken care of before we even hit the play button.
This mix puts a lot more emphasis on the interplay between the bassline and the percussion than there needed to be, but at the same time I can definitely appreciate the kind of aesthetic that Alexander was clearly trying to bring into the fold in taking this route over another. There’s not as much need to thrust the vocal into the guitar parts with the physicality of the backend remaining as intact from start to finish as it does here, and though it feels a little bottom-heavy from the beginning, it never becomes so overwhelmingly fatty that we feel smothered by the sonic intensity.
As the hook ascends, taking Alexander’s vocal with it, it is perhaps at this moment that we get to hear our leading man at his most swaggering and unhesitant. Unlike some of his past outings, he’s running head-first into the fire in “This Hollywood Road” and sounding all the more dynamic and charismatic for it, and when considering just how few of his peers have been able to stake the same claim, that’s really saying something about his present position in the hierarchy of underground musicians both in and out of his local scene.
With or without Elton John’s band behind him to provide melodic support, Rob Alexander is producing another stunner of a song in this fourth official single from Being Myself, which I would even go so far as to call my favorite song from the album. There isn’t a lot of ground that Alexander hasn’t covered from within the confines of the recording studio, but if he’s able to bring any of the same buzz-worthy presence he’s had in the last couple of tracks he’s cut to a live album – at some point in the future – he’ll bring in yet another wave of new fans to his sound.
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